PERU — The Town of Peru will receive a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help complete an upgrade of its water supply.
Town councilors held during a special meeting this week to accept the Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant for work being done at the town reservoir.
“It is definitely good news,” Town Supervisor Peter Glushko said of the federal grant. “Any amount of money is helpful, but $500,000 to help us improve the water system is a big plus for the town.”
90 PERCENT DONE
The town began an extensive $3.2 million project to upgrade the town’s water-filtration plant, reservoir system and water-storage tower in 2012.
That project is close to completion, but the USDA grant will help solidify final touches before the system comes online in late summer or early autumn.
“We’re probably 90 percent complete at this time,” said Gregory Timmons, superintendent of Water and Sewer for Peru.
The town is waiting for the delivery of filters for the filtration plant, which are expected to arrive in mid June, Timmons noted.
Once that equipment is installed, remaining work on the reservoir should be finished within nine to 12 weeks, he added.
Liz Tedford, an independent consultant, has been working with the town and with engineers to write the grant proposal for USDA funds.
“I was aware of this grant program and knew the money was available,” said Tedford, who will hand-deliver the town’s approved resolution to the USDA’s regional office in Canton and expects to receive final approval within a few weeks.
The town’s reservoir became a topic of interest in the overall project when engineers realized that damage from Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 was causing major setbacks in treating the town’s water supply.
Adjustments were made to the original project specs to include a pre-filtering plant at the reservoir to treat the excess amounts of sediments and organics that are causing problems, Tedford noted.
“We needed to expand the scope of the project to address this emergency,” she said.
The grant money will specifically be used for those upgrades at the reservoir.
The town does not have to provide matching funds to receive the grant.
Regular tests of the town water supply have shown reduced levels of certain organics over the past few months. The water is safe for use, and no boil-water orders have been needed.
Town councilors in attendance at the special meeting unanimously approved the resolution authorizing the receipt, use and disbursement of grant funds. Councilor Brandy McDonald was excused from the meeting.
Councilor James Douglass thanked Timmons and Tedford in their work to secure the grant.
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